© Reuters. Asbel Kiprop of Kenya celebrates his victory in the men’s 1500m event at the IAAF Diamond League athletics meet, in Doha

(Reuters) – Kenya’s former Olympic 1500 metres champion Asbel Kiprop has been handed a four-year ban for doping, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Saturday.

The 29-year-old, who also won three world championship golds, tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO) in November 2017.

Kiprop had argued his urine sample, which was taken out of competition, could have been tampered with by his testers, who had tipped him off about their visit and taken a payment from him.

But the AIU, an independent body managing all doping-related matters, said they were satisfied that there had been no interference.

“The panel is aware that its order will interrupt, and may even terminate, the athlete’s sporting career and cast a shadow over his impressive competitive record,” it said in a statement.

“But in its opinion the laboratory results viewed in the context of the evidential record and the regulatory framework unit admit of no other conclusion than the case against the athlete is convincingly made out.”

Kiprop was awarded the 1500m gold medal from the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing after original winner Rashid Ramzi tested positive for doping. Kiprop won his three world titles in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

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